Head in the Clouds: The Wonder of Machu Picchu
Story and photo and Dennis Hensley
Friday, February 15 - Machu Picchu, Peru
This picture was taken minutes after we arrived at Machu Picchu, The Lost City of the Incas. Just after it was snapped, my battery pooped out. I wanted to throw myself off one of the many picturesque cliffs. Instead, I decided I could either spend the whole day kicking myself or I be in the moment and take it all in. I chose B.
Machu Picchu was discovered by American archaeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911. That's not that long ago, right? Joan Rivers was alive, I think.
There aren't words to describe the awe of this place, the breathtaking natural beauty, the soothing sense of the divine.
I also liked that I really felt free to climb around explore. There aren't a million warnings and handrails like you'd see in the lawsuit-happy USA.
Wandering through the ruins, I wondered how someone like me would have fit into Incan culture, someone who's maybe a little "light in the sandals." My guide, Elizabeth, told me that when Incan men were 18, they took part in three tests: running, archery, and combat. If you failed, you were relegated to a lower class where you'd spend your days weaving garments with the womenfolk. I would have been in that sewing circle so quick...
I carbo-loaded at lunch at the Sanctuary Lodge Orient Express Hotel so I could spend the afternoon hiking up the ancient Incan trail to the Sun Gate at 9,000 feet. This trek was the most amazing part of a most amazing day.
I kept myself climbing by listening Idina Menzel's remix of "Gorgeous." If that's not the gayest thing that's ever happened in this holy place, then it's surely in the top five.